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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Imperial AT-AT Driver
Star Wars Sixth Scale Action Figure

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published: 2016-10-24
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Introduction

There's so many possible Star Wars characters, with 7 complete movies and one coming up in just a couple months, that it takes not one but TWO companies to produce sixth scale figures. They are both busy too, with Hot Toys focusing quite a bit on the new films, while Sideshow continues to work with some of the classic characters.

The latest from Sideshow is the Imperial AT-AT Driver, another one of the unique troopers we all loved as kids. He might not have done a whole lot, but he did drive the AT-AT, which is about the coolest off road vehicle ever.

There's a regular and an exclusive version this time, and I'm covering the exclusive tonight. The difference is one accessory - I'll point it out when we get there.  He runs about $210, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Packaging - ***
It's the usual, with the wrap around flap and magnetic closures. The graphics are decent, and the box and trays are collector friendly. Nothing here will make you ooh and aah, but it does its job.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ****
There's no head under that helmet of course, so this category is all about the plastic armored pieces.

Sculpt detail on the helmet is excellent, with realistic vents, tubes, and surface mechanicals. I'm betting that extreme fans will find plenty of nits to pick - that's the issue with just about every helmet - but it looks terrific to me. Scale looks good to me as well, with it just large enough to believe a regular guy's head is up under there. Just as important, the hard PVC they've used is very realistic, just like the material you'd expect the full size version to be made from.

This hard, clean PVC is also used for the chest and back plates, and there's an elastic strapping that holds these tightly around his chest and shoulders. Again, small details here look terrific, including tiny switches and buttons.  The hoses that run from the chest to the back of the helmet are a soft, pliable material, and they can be popped out and in easily.  They also restrict the neck articulation less, and are a much better choice than what we saw Hot Toys do with TIE Pilot.

The hands are all good sculpts that work with the accessories, and they are properly scaled.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is sparse, but very clean and neat.  The tiny details on the helmet and front and back plates looks great, with tricky colors like silver getting a clean, even coverage.

The plastic is just slightly off white, and very, very consistent in the color and the finish.

There is a few spots where the paint is thicker than it should be, reducing some of the sharpness of the sculpted details. It's a minor enough nit, particularly in hand, but it does reduce the realism just a smidge.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Articulation - ***
This is a less mobile figure, but it's not the fault of the underlying body. There's plenty of joints hidden under the jump suit, but the costume is not the most fluid.

Of course the helmet, tubes, and shoulder armor restricts the head.  The softer tubes work better than something like hard plastic we saw with the earlier mentioned TIE Pilot, but they still tend to push the helmet around on their own. The upper body articulation works well, but getting two handed poses with the larger gun can be tricky. This is because the large chest armor tends to get in the way.

The leg articulation is where the real problems come in. Knees and hips aren't bad, but there is some padding under the suit which improves the overall look - it appears as though he's wearing his woolies - but does tighten up some of the mobility.  But it's the boots, the solid rubber boots, that make things tough. You won't get anything out of the ankles, and the shape of the boots makes even straight stances tricky. It doesn't help that the boots tend to fall off at the slightest tough, another of my pet peeves.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Accessories - ***
I'm looking at the exclusive version, which includes the larger blaster. This large rifle comes with a folding stock and cloth strap, allowing him to wear it around his shoulder. The smaller blaster is pretty standard stuff, but the sculpts on both guns are excellent.

He also has a total of six hands - the fists he comes wearing, plus a relaxed grip left, gun grip right, and a mid grip right and left. You can use these for a variety of poses, and they all have their own wrist post.

There's a basic stand as well, with a crotch support. That's pretty light for this price point, and since the exclusive is the same price as the regular and has one extra weapon, it's clearly the best way to go.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Outfit - ***
I've discussed the armor - it's great. The gloved hands are good as well. That leaves the boots and jumper.

I will mention one other thing about the front and back plates.  The cloth straps that run underneath each slip inside buckles, which hold them in place and allow you to adjust their length. That means you can have the straps hang at different lengths around the legs, depending on your preferences.  However, when you're adjusting them try to avoid pulling them free of the buckles. You can get them back in - trust me - but it's a little frustrating.

The jumper looks good, and the underlying padding gives the suit a more realistic look.  The stitching and tailoring are good, and it's easy to remove and replace the boots and gloves over the suit.

But the boots simply suck on so many levels. I already mentioned the lack of articulation, and how the shape of the boot and sole make it difficult for him to stand in even basic poses. The sculpt itself is very toy-ish, and the lack of any paint work pretty much supports that impression. I'd expect these on an old Hasbro figure, not a modern Sideshow release.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Fun Factor - **1/2
The issues with the boots, the feet dropping off while posing, and the general restrictions on the overall articulation makes him a lot less fun long term. You'll find a pretty standard pose for him on the shelf, and he'll stay that way.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Value - **
This guy is coming in at around $210.  The regular release is the same price as the exclusive, so it's a no brainer - why pay the same for one less accessory? Since it's also a useful accessory, the exclusive release is the way to go.

But that's still $20 - $30 more than this guy should cost.  While the armor looks great, the overall complexity doesn't justify Hot Toys prices. Remember, their TIE Pilot, which can be argued has a more complex set of armor, was $10 - $20 less than this guy.

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Things to Watch Out For -
As I mentioned, be careful when you're adjusting the straps front and back. If you pull them loose from the buckles underneath the plates, you'll have a frustrating few minutes trying to get them back in place.

If you remove a hand and the wrists post doesn't come with it, it's no biggie. You won't be able to easily put the post itself inside the hand, so put it in the forearm first, then re-attach the hand. It's much, much easier working with the wrists posts in that order.

Overall - ***
For those of us that like a wide variety of Troopers, this figure is a great addition. The helmet and front and back plates look great, the underlying body suit is reasonable, and the accessories are good, if a bit light. He's $20 - $30 more than I'd like to pay for a basic trooper, but he's also a classic that will look great with the TIE Pilot or original Snowtrooper on your shelf.

But he does have his issues, and those boots are tops amongst them. A better pair of boots would have boosted this guy another half star, even at this price point.  Add in the high price, and there's no way I could go better than a B here.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***
Accessories - ***
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***

Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow is the place to get the exclusive, where they have it for $210.

- has the regular for $210.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
If you're a Trooper kind of collector, check out the new Rogue One 1:1 Helmet replica from Hasbro.  Other sixth scale Star Wars include the recent Battlefront version, Finn and Riot Control Trooper, Captain Phasma, the FO Flametrooper, the FO Snowtroopers, and the First Order Shock Trooper. Other Hot Toys Star Wars figures include Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, C-3PO, Tatooine Luke Skywalker, Luke in his Shock Trooper Disguise, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han and Chewbacca from ANH. If you'd like a bit more of a regular Shock Trooper, they've done him as well, along with a Blackhole version. Sidseshow has helped out with the Original Trilogy, with their Jawa set, Hoth Han, Hoth Luke, Tauntaun, Speederbike, and Scout Trooper. They also did a Shock Trooper back in the day.

I have a bunch before that, so you should also hit the Search Reviews page. Also you should check it out in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Star Wars AT-AT Driver Sixth Scale Figure by Sideshow

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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